"We had a moment of silence in honor of the people who lost their lives at that sheik temple. I noted that it was a tragedy for many, many reasons. Among them are the fact that people, the sheik people, are among the most peaceable and loving individuals you can imagine, as is their faith."Dear Mitt Romney,
I would like someone running for President of the United States of America to be a good orator. A skilled public speaker. Someone who doesn't make embarrassing gaffes, particularly in regards to a domestic terrorist act.
I would like someone running for POTUS to be well-educated enough to know the correct terms for various types of citizens, including religious minorities.
You're running for POTUS right now. At this very moment! I would like you to be smart as well as sensitive to the issues affecting your people.
One of the problems relevant to this very terrorist act is the conflation of people of color. The conflation of religious groups. If you're an angry white man with notions of white supremacy and Christian supremacy filling your head, you might not know the difference between Muslim and Sikh. You probably don't care. You're full of fear and hate and everything the patriarchy's been pumping into you since birth, and you're ready for action. You don't care who that action hurts. They're people of color who dare not to be Christian, and that's enough for you. Muslim, Sikh, what's the difference? Sikh, sheik, what's the difference? They're not like you, right? They're interchangeable and incomprehensible anyway.
What you said fed right into that. It rang those very same bells.
Maybe you spoke out of ignorance, but this isn't the time for ignorance. This isn't a time for insensitivity. This isn't a time for mistakes and gaffes. This is a time when it's very important to get it right, as right as we can.
I hope that you become a compassionate, thoughtful man and a silver-tongued orator, and I wish you well in the pursuit of that goal. But I hope that someone who's already a step ahead of you in the not-being-racist department becomes the next POTUS.